Craving the flavors of a backyard barbecue, but maybe the early May weather isn’t cooperating? This is the recipe for you. The sauce is made the night before from a handful of pantry staples. You can prep the ribs at the same time. Then, when it’s time to cook, a quick stint under the broiler preps the ribs for a long, slow braise in the barbecue sauce. Serve these with creamy potato salad and baked beans to complete the barbecue theme.
Barbecue-Style Baby Back Ribs
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) tomato ketchup
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs. dry white wine
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
5 lb. (2.5 kg) baby back ribs
Up to 24 hours before you plan to start cooking, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, wine, lemon zest and juice, brown sugar, mustard, chile powder, cumin, celery salt and 1/2 tsp. salt and stir to mix well. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook very gently, stirring
occasionally to prevent scorching, until slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the hot pepper sauce and taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper sauce if needed. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Trim the membrane from the back of each rib rack, then cut the racks into individual ribs. Store in a
sealable plastic bag or airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Preheat a broiler. Put a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the ribs on the rack. Broil, turning once, until browned on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes total.
Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce and turn the ribs to coat evenly. Cover and cook on low until the ribs are very tender, 5 to 6 hours.
Using a slotted spatula, transfer the ribs to a large platter and cover to keep warm. Pour the sauce
remaining in the insert into a small saucepan and let stand for few minutes. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface. Place over high heat, bring to a boil and boil rapidly to reduce and thicken slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
Arrange the ribs on individual plates, drizzle with the reduced sauce, and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other
inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.